What Is A Veterinary Cardiologist?

Any practicing veterinarian has completed a minimum of between 2-4 years of undergraduate schooling and 4 years of rigorous training in veterinary school to achieve the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM, or VMD for those who attended the University of Pennsylvania) degree.

A veterinary cardiologist has completed an additional 3-4 years of post DVM training to become specialized in diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart in animals. This training often includes a 1 year competitive internship followed by several years of specialized residency training under the supervision of board certified veterinary cardiologists. Board certification status is achieved by taking and passing a 2 year series of examinations and review and acceptance of a credentials packet. Once a veterinarian has successfully completed these criteria, they become a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine , subspecialty of Cardiology. In addition to “DVM” or “VMD”, Board Certified veterinary cardiologists have the letters “DACVIM – Cardiology” after their names.

How is a cardiologist different than a radiologist or internist?

Radiologists and Internists have extensive post graduate training and also must pass a series of rigorous examinations to become board certified. However, this training is not equivalent to the training a cardiologist receives with regards to the cardiovascular system. Cardiologists are trained in the specific physiology, pathophysiology, clinical diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, medical and interventional therapy of animal heart disease. Although diagnostic imaging is an important aspect of cardiology, the knowledge that comes with years of specialized training in acquiring and interpreting the images in the context of the entire clinical picture of the animal’s disease is very different than the ability to acquire standard views and measurements of the heart.